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DENR-MGB clamps down on illegal, small-scale miners in Nueva Vizcaya

 

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan-The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) led the dismantling of various illegal mining equipment during a series of operations conducted against small-scale mining activities in Quezon town, Nueva Vizcaya province from July 27 to 29.
thumbnail 3ssmThe joint operations which were carried out by MGB-Region 2, DENR Region 2, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office-Nueva Vizcaya, Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-Aritao, National Bureau of Investigation-Region 2, Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines, in coordination with FCF Minerals Corporation, cracked down on ball mills, shafting, diesel engines, pulleys, and other equipment used in illegal small-scale mining activities at Barangay Runruno. 

thumbnail 2ssm"In the case of illegal small-scale mining, miners tend to dig and drill with no proper control on extractive operations.  These unregulated mining activities pose dangers to the environment, and even to human lives," said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

MGB-Region 2 Director Mario A. Ancheta said the absence of documents, permits, or authority in the conduct of mining operations and the transport of minerals/mineral products and by-products will be considered as prima facie evidence of illegal mining.

thumbnail 1ssm"This shall cause the seizure/confiscation of the minerals/mineral products and by-products and the tools, conveyances, and equipment used in the commission of the offense in favor of the government," Ancheta pointed out.

Prior to the operation, MGB-Region 2 directed an investigation of the ongoing small-scale mining operations within the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) contract area of mining firm FCF Minerals Corporation.

MGB said that the said firm has not yet utilized or developed the said area.

Given the location, Ancheta pointed out that the mining area cannot be declared as a "Minahang Bayan" site.

He added that despite constant dialogues and warnings, the small-scale miners, who were identified to be illegal settlers, continued to defy the MGB's order to vacate and leave the area.

The MGB-Region 2 served cease-and-desist orders against the illegal mining activities last July 7 to 9.

"I have previously proposed to these illegal miners to look for other areas that can be applied for as Minahang Bayan since this area is prohibited.  However, they continue to extract the area," Ancheta said.

Charges will be filed against the miners for violation of Republic Act (RA) 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and RA 7076 or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991.

The implementing rules and regulations of RA 7076 state that: "No small-scale mining shall be undertaken outside a Minahang Bayan and that no entity shall engage in small-scale mining without a small-scale mining contract."

MGB-Region 2 has been monitoring the activities in the area since a landslide occurred on Nov. 13, 2020.  It has previously recommended to the local government of Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya to relocate the illegal settlers.

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MGB 2 leads virtual pep talk on responsible mining

Mining

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region II spearheaded a virtual pep talk on responsible mining conducted last July 7, 2021.

Engr. Mario A. Ancheta, MGB Director led the pep talk joined by representatives from OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. and FCF Minerals Corporation, both large-scale mining companies in the region.

The virtual pep talk revolved on topics regarding environmental initiatives of the mining companies as well as their corporate social responsibility.

The talk also focused on their regional tax contribution as well as their Social Development Management Program.

The pep talk aims to raise awareness on responsible mining practices and to educate on the environmental programs of the mining companies.

Members of the local media also joined the activity via zoom. The pep talk was hosted by the Philippine Information Agency Region II.

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RD Ancheta soars high with Eagle Award

EAGLE

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- Mines and Geosciences Bureau ROII Regional Director Engr. Mario A. Ancheta was named top MGB Director and among the six DENR Field Officials who were conferred the prestigious Environmental Awards for Governance and Leadership Excellence (EAGLE) Award for 2020.

RD Ancheta received the award handed over by Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu during the DENR’s founding anniversary celebration held on June 10, 2021 at DENR Central Office, Quezon City. 

RD Mario as many would fondly call him, is known for his admirable character. He was born on May 16, 1966 by farmer parents: Gonzalo Aquino Ancheta and Juanita Rulloda Antimano. He is joyfully married to Evelyn Bawas of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and they are blessed with two children: Monrivia and Luigi.

He attended his primary education in Diffun Central School and finished his high school on St. Mary’s Academy in Diffun, Quirino where he received honors and leadership award.  He decided to push through his bachelor studies in St. Louis University in Baguio City where he graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering in1989, and was finally admitted to the board in the same year.

He started government service in 1993 when he decided to return to his province, Quirino, where he joined the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU)- Quirino as Engineer II from 1993 to 1997. Despite the busy schedule in the LGU, he was able to organize the Quirino Union of Employees for Solidarity and Teamwork (QUEST), he was the founder and first president of QUEST. In here, he gave his best to establish the newly founded organization. As a result of his hard work, he was awarded a Leadership award in Quirino Province.  At the same time, while working as public servant, he pursued his graduate studies and earned Master of Business Administration from Northeastern College in Santiago City, Isabela. 

A dedicated government employee, he was entrusted to become the OIC, ENRO in 1997- 1998, and in 1999 another opportunity was opened to him when he moved to DENR- Mines and Geosciences Bureau as Engineer III to Engineer IV, and later promoted as Engineer V.  Because of his hard work and commitment, he was designated as OIC, Regional Director of MGB ROII from 2008 to January 7, 2020.

As a persistent and devoted Director of MGB ROII, he earned commendations and citations from various government and private organizations proving that he is indeed a leader. MGB Region 02 was hailed as the best performing delivery unit by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the year 2012 and RD Ancheta as the Top Performing Regional Director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau for 2013.

This high-spirited Director, refined through time and experience, was again promoted on January 8, 2020 as Director II of MGB Region II.

RD Ancheta joins other EAGLE ­awardees: Arleigh Adorable, Regional Executive Director of DENR 10 (Northern Mindanao), Ma. Victoria Abrera, Regional Director of Environmental Management Bureau- CAR, Forester Merlyn Dumalahay, PENRO (PENRO- Camiguin), Forester Delia Benitez, Supervising PENRO (PENRO- Eastern Samar), and Imelda Casiwan, CENRO (Supervising CENRO-Pinukpok, Kalinga).

The EAGLE award is a recognition of the DENR’s Field Officials for their efficient and effective delivery of the agency’s mandate.

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Nickel Asia addresses anti-vaxxers


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An employee at Taganito Mining in Claver, Surigao del Norte, studies the survey form about vaccination just before Dr. Ubial’s address to all NAC employees across the country.

As the Philippine government rolls out its vaccination program across the country, Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) steps up to connect employees from all its subsidiaries across the country in a virtual conference that directly tackles all issues about the vaccines against COVID 19. 

Former Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, who heads the Philippine Red Cross Molecular Laboratories, on Friday, addresses all issues, contentious and otherwise, to answer varied questions from NAC employees from Cagdianao Mining in Dinagat Islands; Cordillera Exploration from Ilocos Sur; Dinapigue Mining in Isabela; Emerging Powers from Subic; Hinatuan Mining and Taganito Mining from Surigao del Norte; and Rio Tuba Mining in Palawan.

NAC is aware that according to recent reports, and from its own internal surveys, 60% of Filipinos do not want to be vaccinated.

But Dr. Ubial’s statement that “the best vaccine is the one in your arm” resonated with all NAC employees and the company hopes that after 2 hours of detailed discussion with Dr. Ubial, this number will improve.

“The pandemic has basically pushed many of us to a corner and with the internet as constant companion, misinformation can spread like wildfire and there is bound to be skepticism. We at NAC believe that an information campaign on something so important like the vaccine can impact the lives of our employees and the residents in our mining communities,” explains Gerardo B. Ongkingco, NAC VP for Human Resources.

“Dr. Ubial helps us cascade authentic information to all our employees as she shares credible, digestible and evidence-based information that our people actually understand and can relate to,” says Ongkingco.Nick2

Employees from all of NAC subsidiaries across the country listen to a presentation by Dr. Ubial of the Philippine Red Cross regarding the vaccines for Covid 19.

NAC is among the first to respond to the challenges of COVID19, by expending an accumulated P50M from its 2020 social development funds during the early months of the pandemic.  A separate budget of P18M was turned over to the Philippine Red Cross to build a molecular testing laboratory in Surigao City to support the province’s efforts for early detection of COVID-19 cases.

***

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Lagunda to DENR employees: Live with our core values

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- Assistant Secretary for Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affairs Joan A. Lagunda has urged employees of DENR Region 2 to live with the Department’s core values during the Human Resource Leader’s Forum held on Feb.27 in Tuguegarao City.

During the HR Leader’s Forum, Asec. Lagunda pointed out the DENR core values: Discipline, Excellence, Nobility, and Responsibility. “Employee discipline is basic, kung disiplinado ka, everything will follow,” she explained.

She likewise emphasized that her priority agenda is holistic reform for the government service.

Lagunda also lectured ethics in the government service. She said that malversation of public funds, nepotism, and red tape are unlawful acts for a government servant.

“Ang padrino system o ang kamag-anak system ay hindi bawal pero hindi dapat,” she added.

After the forum, Lagunda also graced the 10th Annual General Assembly of the Kalipunan ng mga Kawani sa Kagawaran ng Kalikasan.

She likewise visited the 4 provincial environment and natural resources and 10 community environment and natural resources offices where she talked on DENR’s vision, mission, and core values.

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